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What is the difference between a networking group and a peer group?

April 16, 2015

Through the development of a few different companies, I’ve been involved in many networking groups.  Admittedly, my objective in joining was business development – which is typically the purpose of such groups.  However, rarely did they amount to anything productive.  Over the years, my focus shifted from a typical sales approach, to that of focusing solely on relationships.  Lo and behold, our business began to grow rapidly strictly through word of mouth.

Fast forward a few years.  In 2012 I was lucky enough to be introduced to Vistage by a friend and colleague, Marc Emmer (  It was through Vistage that I learned what an “executive peer group” was, and how much it could bring to one’s expertise, personal and professional growth, and very importantly, to one’s network of quality professionals.  The best peer groups provide access to non-organizational peers at similar stages in their careers, free of any conflicts of interest, or hidden agendas and harnesses the collective learnings and problem solving capabilities of the entire group as a resource to all.1

I was recently reminded of how significant an impact this has had in my career and the development of the two companies I currently run: Status Not Quo ( and Oddly Even Studios (  I was very pleased to be invited to speak at an event jointly hosted by Executive Next Practices ( and Vistage ( on the topic of “Growing your company,” with my portion focusing on technology.  The other topics addressed were marketing, sales, human resources, and culture.

Being surrounded by over a 100 CEOs, C-level executives, owners, and key people is always an eye opening experience.  Meetings like this are where you grow as an individual, a professional, and as a company.  Relationships and connections are made based on a solid foundation of expertise, common interest, and respect.  In my experience, this leads to the type of relationships where doing business together is a logical outcome.  I wholeheartedly encourage professionals to explore both organizations – and experience the growth across all fronts.

Scott Capistrano


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